Who’s heard of vitamin B? Most people will only learn about the B vitamins after a blood test when their doctor informs them that they have a deficiency. Vitamins B-6 and B-12 are key members of the B vitamin family, with all eight of them—thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), B12 and folic acid (folate)—often found in the same foods. The most abundant sources of vitamin B are fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Leafy green vegetables, lentils, beans, peas, and whole grains also have B vitamins, while breakfast cereals and some breads may have B vitamins artificially added. Nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast (but not baker’s yeast) are other B sources.
What if I Am Vitamin B Deficient?
Those eating a varied diet are probably getting enough vitamin B. However, B12 is found only in animal products, which means vegans need a B12 supplement or foods fortified with B12. Low levels of vitamin B6 can lead to numerous signs of deficiency, one of which is tiredness and low energy. Similarly, weakness and fatigue are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Expert Advice to Follow
Vegans and vegetarians cannot ignore the opinions of experts such as lead researcher Wolfgang Herrmann, MD, Ph.D. who says, “we have a particular concern over vitamin B12 status being regularly monitored in vegetarians—most importantly, in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children of vegetarian mothers and on macrobiotic diets, elderly vegetarians, and people who already have atherosclerosis.”
Dr. Anthony Komaroff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston states that, when it comes to fatigue, after iron comes a lack of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, and folic acid. “All of them can be corrected by giving supplements of the missing minerals or the missing vitamins,” he says, or through improving one’s diet. He goes on to state that a “vitamin B12 deficiency, if it goes on long enough, undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to permanent damage of the brain and the spinal cord that can affect people’s ability to move, walk and think clearly.”
Now, if that’s not enough of a wakeup call, our national obsession with restrictive fad diets results in us cutting out essential food groups, and this could cause nutrient deficiencies. Jessica Crandall, a Denver-based registered dietitian nutritionist and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has seen a serious rise in people cutting out carbohydrates from their diets. She goes on to say that, when we do this, we “essentially are restricting a lot of the B vitamins as well as essential nutrients to provide your brain the energy it needs to function.”
What’s more, Crandall believes that low-carb consumption, and the resulting deficiencies— including in vitamin B12, which is already not absorbed well by women over age 50—can cause brain fog or mental fatigue as well as physical exhaustion. Many of us will be most surprised to learn this!
What’s in the Hallelujah Diet’s Supplement?
Vitamins B12 and B6 and folate are all critical elements of what is known as the methylation cycle and work best in their activated forms as provided in this supplement. Vitamin B12 is especially important for rapidly dividing cells like blood cells, skin, the lining of the digestive tract, and more. It also helps the liver to effectively detoxify chemicals present in the bloodstream. Vitamin B6 is essential for recycling homocysteine and folate is central to the production of DNA, especially in the case of pregnant women.
This is where the Hallelujah Diet HD B12, B6, Folate dietary supplement could play a significant role in dealing with these deficiencies and should be considered, especially by those following a plant-based diet.